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Interstellar – Detailed plot of the film by Christopher Nolan

Interstellar is a science-fiction film directed by Christopher Nolan. The film landed in theaters in November 2014, grossing around $ 675 million worldwide. The main actors in the film are Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and Michael Caine. To compose the soundtrack was the famous Hans Zimmer.

Interstellar: plot (NO spoiler)

In the 21st century, due to climate change, food is scarce as only a few crops resist the “plague”. It is a natural phenomenon that feeds on nitrogen and consumes the oxygen present in the atmosphere, causing violent sandstorms that make daily life difficult.
Joseph Cooper, an engineer and former pilot, lives in a nice house with his father-in-law Donald and his two sons, Tom and Murph.
A ghost seems to want to communicate with Murph, who often finds books on the floor in his room. One day, during a storm, the ghost seems to appear in his room to communicate something in code, taking advantage of the sand entered through the window. After studying the code, Cooper realizes that the “message” provided the geographic coordinates of a place about a day away by car from their home.

Once reached the destination, father and daughter find themselves in front of a fence. In an attempt to break it, some guards capture them and bring them inside the structure. Here, they discover that they ended up at the NASA base, led by Professor John Brand and his daughter Amelia, a skilled biologist. Since nobody knows the coordinates of the most secret structure in the world, Professor Brand believes that Cooper is the chosen one to save humanity from extinction.

Professor Brand begins by explaining to Cooper that near Saturn there is a space-time tunnel (wormhole) which, if crossed, teleports to another galaxy.
Ten years earlier, the Lazarus mission began: twelve astronauts traveled through space to cross the wormhole and visit as many planets. Only three of them, Miller, Edmunds and Mann, sent data on three planets likely to host life, all orbiting a black hole called the Gargantua. The new mission calls for Cooper (accompanied by the rest of the crew) to fly the Endurance spaceship to visit the three planets. If one of them proves habitable, it would return to Earth to guide humanity to the new planet.
If plan A does not work, there would still be plan B: to give birth to a new population of hundreds of frozen embryos present inside the spacecraft….

Cooper and Murph (spoilers from here)

Cooper accepts the mission and is preparing to greet his loved ones, considering that he does not know exactly when he will return to Earth. This is due to relativity: this theory states that time flows differently according to the gravitational field exercised by the celestial bodies present in the surrounding space. In Cooper’s case, traveling near a black hole, his time will flow much slower than on Earth. Put simply, Cooper could travel around the black hole for a couple of hours, but decades would pass on Earth.

Cooper goes to Murph to talk to her about her imminent departure, not revealing the details of the mission and the future of the planet so as not to frighten her. He entrusts her with a watch and tells her that the mission could last many years: in fact, he reveals that on his return, Murph could be the same age as his father on the day of departure. The daughter reacts badly, throws the clock on the ground and starts to cry, without wanting to hear reasons. This reaction is also due to the fact that Murph has decoded the message represented by the books fallen from his library, which declares: STAY. Cooper promises Murph to return, greets Donald and Tom and leaves.

Exploration of the Miller planet

Cooper, Amelia Brand, scientists Doyle and Romilly, and robots Tars and Case are part of the crew.
Two years after the start, the team arrives on Miller ‘s planet, but Romilly stays with Tars on Endurance to acquire data on Gargantua. Because of relativity, every hour spent on the planet equals seven years spent on Earth.

Landed on the planet, Brand finds the wreckage of Miller ‘s spacecraft, and the team realizes that the planet is inhospitable because it is covered by a single immense ocean and by a large wave motion.
Cooper sees that a huge tsunami is coming over them, so he orders the team to get back on board immediately. Amelia, tens of meters away from the spacecraft, gives up and asks colleagues to leave her there and go away. Doyle orders Case to take Amelia and manages to save her. Doyle is late in boarding and is swallowed up by the wave. While the rest of the team tries to escape, the wave also hits the spacecraft. This means that the vehicle can only start again after draining the water accumulated in the engines.

After a brief discussion between Cooper and Brand on the damage caused by their superficiality, the team resumes its flight and reaches Endurance, where Romilly and Tars are waiting for her. Due to the temporal shift, Romilly aged about 23 years, and during this period he acquired enough data on the black hole.
Cooper immediately goes to check the messages the family has sent him over that long period of time. Tom sent him many, until as an adult he begins to evaluate the idea that his father abandoned him there, so he decides to let him go. Murph, on the other hand, sends him a single message the day he turns the same age as his father when he left. Angry with him, she asks him if he is looking for a solution to save humanity, or if he really has decided to abandon it.

Exploration of the Mann planet

The team realizes that, due to previous maneuvers, it has consumed too much fuel and there is only enough to explore one of the two remaining planets: that of Mann or Edmunds.
Cooper believes that the most reliable data comes from the planet of Mann who still transmits, unlike Edmunds who has not transmitted data for three years. Amelia sees it differently: she believes Edmunds’ data is more promising. However, he reveals that his choice is probably dictated by the love he feels towards Edmunds. Voted, the team decides to proceed to Mann’s planet.

Meanwhile, on Earth, Murph helps Professor Brand solve the equation that will help find the solution for Plan A. On his deathbed, Professor Brand reveals to Murph that he lied, that the equation already had it resolved before Cooper’s departure and to believe that humans on Earth are unsavable. Murph asks Professor Brand if his father knew this and decided to abandon it anyway. The elderly scientist repeats one last time a few lines of a poem he loves to tell, and then falls forever into eternal sleep.

Unaware of the matter that is happening on Earth, the team lands on the planet of Mann and notes a predominantly frozen world, at first glance with little chance of survival. Coming to Mann’s base they revive him from hibernation, since the scientist had not set the awakening date because he had run out of supplies. After telling his experience, Mann talks about the data collected and the possibility of changing the atmosphere of the planet to make it sustainable for life.

During the conversation, Tars advises the crew that there is a video message from Murph for Amelia. The message warns Amelia of Professor Brand’s death, and asks if she and Cooper also knew that the Earthlings are unsafe. Amelia turns to Cooper saying she knew nothing about it and has no idea what Murph is saying. At that point, Cooper decides to return to Earth, but not before helping Mann fix some chores on the planet. Meanwhile Romilly goes to study the data with Tars.

Cooper and Mann leave the base to explore some areas of the planet. At one point, Mann pulls the transmitter out of Cooper’s suit and throws it away, after which he tries to kill him by pushing him off a precipice. A confrontation begins between the two, in which Cooper tries to stop him and make him think, but Mann does not want to hear reasons. Mann hits Cooper’s helmet until he breaks it, takes away his oxygen mask and walks away to reach the ranger. Following moments of suffering, Cooper manages to retrieve the transmitter and asks Amelia to help him. Amelia and Case run to save him, and Cooper reveals Mann’s treachery to them. In the meantime, Romilly dies following an explosion caused by previous programming of false data entered by Mann.

Interstellar: towards Gargantua

Mann is heading towards Endurance, with the intention of docking and abandoning the rest of the group. Meanwhile, Cooper, Amelia and Case reach Tars (who emerged unscathed from the explosion) and are preparing to follow Mann, trying to make him reason through communication. At this time it turns out that Mann does not know the docking procedure, and among other things Tars reveals that the automatic docking has been disabled by him personally.
Mann tries to dock by failing, but despite this he continues not to listen to Amelia’s emergency messages inviting him not to open the hatch or the shuttle will be depressurized. Mann opens the hatch, the spacecraft explodes and, consequently, the Endurance begins to rotate moving towards the atmosphere of the planet.
Cooper decides to proceed towards Endurance to dock, despite the difficulty of the operation. With the help of Tars and the wizard, Cooper manages to dock correctly and heads towards Gargantua.

The rangers of Tars and Cooper are released to be sucked into the black hole: this maneuver will cost 51 years on Earth. Meanwhile, Case and Amelia make their way to Edmunds’ planet since, if it proves habitable, they could implement plan B.
Cooper crosses a space with high perturbations that interrupt the radio link and the functions of the ranger. The latter is damaged until it opens, catapulting Cooper into a cold and light-free space. Suddenly it begins to literally fall into the void, until it manages to stop the fall. Here, Cooper realizes that he has ended up in a tesseract, a four-dimensional cube, created by superior beings.

After moments of panic, in which Cooper fears not to come out alive, he realizes that he has ended up in an abstract place from which it is possible to see every single moment spent by Murph in his room, and change time and space. He realizes, therefore, that he is the ghost that Murph spoke of when they lived together on Earth. Meanwhile, Tars tells Cooper that he survived and that the higher beings didn’t send them there to change the past. Cooper understands that there is something wrong with what Tars said, in fact, according to him, the superior beings did not send them there, but they got there on their own. This is how Cooper understands that he is only there as a bridge to communicate with Murph, taking advantage of the immense fatherly love that binds him to his daughter.

At that point, Cooper looks for a way to communicate to Murph the quantum data of the singularity that Tars had meanwhile collected within Gargantua. She manages to transmit the data in Morse, taking advantage of the second hand of that watch that she had given her before leaving. In the meantime, Murph was about to leave his room but rereads the notebook in which he had decoded the code that read RESTA. He decides to give his father additional time, checks the clock and, as he prepares to leave, realizes that he is receiving a message. Those codes will serve to complete the equation of the theory of everything, initiated by Brand, to control gravity. In this way it will be possible to build the space station that will serve to transfer humanity to the new world.

Route to the end

After transmitting the data, the card in which Cooper was located disappears. The skilled engineer, now exhausted, ends up teleported to Saturn, where the wormhole had been placed by his superiors.
Cooper wakes up in a hospital bed, welcomed by a doctor and nurse, who are told that he is in the Cooper space station, a name given in honor of his daughter Murph, in orbit around Saturn. They also tell him to get up slowly from bed, as he is no longer a young man, but he is 124 years old (despite the fact that he wears them well).
Cooper asks if the daughter is still alive: the doctor replies in the affirmative and that he will be there in two weeks.

The long-awaited day has arrived: Cooper enters the hospital room in which Murph, now elderly, is surrounded by the rest of the family. Murph reveals to his father that nobody wanted to believe her but he knew he would come back. “How?” Cooper asks. “Because my dad promised me,” Murph replies, while the father inhales filling himself with pride.
Murph invites Cooper to go, since no father should see his son die. He also reveals that Brand and Case are waiting for him on the planet of Edmunds, the new earth where humanity will settle.
After repairing and reactivating Tars, who had been found with him near Saturn, Cooper steals a shuttle and begins the journey to Edmunds’ planet.

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